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Local Produce at the Height of the Season

We think of June as the beginning of the local crops season. Farmers markets are sprouting up weekly. Strawberries are red and ripe. Spring lettuce and chives are popping through the soil. The true height of the summer produce season in these parts, however, actually arrives in early August.

Betsy Stuart of Stuart’s Farm in Somers reports that, “right now we’re picking tomatoes and corn, eggplants, zucchini and cucumbers. Also string beans and broccoli. The cantaloupe are ready and so are the nectarines.”

Stuart’s prides itself on its vast variety of apples. It has thirty kinds of trees. “This is just the beginning of the apple season,” said Stuart. “We’ve got Jersey Macs.”

Christine Tartaglia of North Salem’s Harvest Moon Farm said, “We have cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and lots of zucchini. We’ve also got all kinds of tomatoes -- heirloom, beefsteak, new girl, and grape. And we bring in sweet corn, red onions, peaches, apricots and plums from local farmers. In about a week we’re going to have lots of pears from our own orchard. We’ll have pear-picking starting on the 19th or 20th.”

At Muscoot ’s Farmers Market, Melissa Newkirk at Goshen’s Madura Farm stand reported that, “Tomatoes are at their height. Sprouts are in season and pattypan squash is brand new. The big watermelons are just getting started.”

Maggie Fitzgerald comes from Yorktown every week to shop at Muscoot. “I love the vendors,” she said. “They’re so knowledgeable. I’m a huge pepper fan. Now is when they’re really starting to come up. I eat them raw. I graze on them all during the day.”

Joan Meltzer of Goldens Bridge was also at Muscoot, stocking up on tomatoes. “My son puts them on panini,” she said. “Tonight we’re having them with mozzarella. Sometimes I make tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes. You heat some garlic and olive oil and add the cut-up tomatoes, and stir it around just until the tomatoes are warm. It only takes a minute. Then you add basil and cheese and you’re done.” She added, “It’s a Jewish-American tomato sauce.”

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